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Poster: guyzilla Date: Nov 12, 2011 12:52pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'Stella Maris'

In regard to the first paragraph of you post, I do have some doubt as to whether most silent era films were shown with tinting. Maybe they were, maybe they weren't. Perhaps when films get "restored" the post supervisor may just go with what he thinks should go into the work. Recently, a local tv station aired a version of THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, complete with tinting, new titles, new music, and DIALOGUE. I thought the end result was abominable. So the question is;
Is it restoration or is it just tweaking the original work to suit a more modern taste?

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Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 12, 2011 1:35pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'Stella Maris'

It is odd that you would ask that for I was watching the completely restored "Lost Horizon". The film has been restored only insofar as replacing long lost footage and where the film is missing and the soundtrack extant, black leader is inserted.

I know of very few original films that were tinted and what we have now is someone's idea to enhance the film for retail purposes. I can recall [at the Internet Archives] copies of "Nosferatu", "The Lost World", "Phantom of the Opera" being subject to a strange music bed and massive tinting while "The Golem" had no tinting.

In your example, I would imagine that it was a marketing ploy...and probably a terrible one at that.

For me, "restoration" is concerned with the physical issues of a film...to restore to the original as much as possible and to make the presentation as clean as possible. This would involve frame replacements, sprocket repair, replacement of lost scenes [images or sound], and thanks to computer software, celluloid scratches and abrasions can be removed. Even the film speed can be adjusted to resemble the original projection. And I have heard of software that can mellow the old contrasty prints to more grays.

Unfortunately, you are correct about the adjustments for modern tastes. A recent example is the colorization of "The Night of the Living Dead"...the atmospheric mood totally disappeared. The tinting and choice of a music bed of the silent films we have discussed were probably done for that very reason. I am sure many thought that they were doing the viewer a favor but all it does is dilute the original production and in some cases give a false history of the film.

As a footnote, I noticed that someone uploaded [again] "Killers from Space" with this claim...

"This copy of the movie has the original green tinting used in many scenes, which is missing from other copies...."

http://www.archive.org/details/Killers_from_Space_1954

Neither does my memory of the film support this nor can I find any verification documentation.

Go figure.

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Poster: billbarstad Date: Nov 12, 2011 2:32pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'Stella Maris'

A link on the page for Killers from Space leads to an article by David Christenson, who believes that there was tinting. The second to last paragraph reads:

"Lest you think that this collection was just thrown together, this DVD uses some of the best source materials I’ve ever seen for these films. For example, my cheap old copy of Killers From Space is now replaced by a version without the missing frames and fuzzy soundtrack, and even restores a green tint to the alien sequences. "

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Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 12, 2011 2:40pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'Stella Maris'

Well, that may be, but I would like to see something a bit more official. It would be quirky for the original to have the green tint even though it is quite effective. Thanks.

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Poster: billbarstad Date: Nov 12, 2011 2:48pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'Stella Maris'

There's also a email link for the author at the bottom of the page. Perhaps he can give more information.

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Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 14, 2011 6:54am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'Stella Maris'

I am still researching the issue of the green tinted scene in "Killers From Space". I went back to David's page to see if I missed anything and thought I might as well send an email. Upon clicking his name I was told that I did not have an Internet connection to complete the request. Bizarre.

So I did some refined Google searches and wound up at amazon.com's site..."Killers From Space (1954) [Remastered Edition]". I read all 32 reviews and nothing referenced the green tint. As a matter of fact the consensus sustained curiosity as to what made this a "remastered" film.

It may remain a mystery. Even though I do not remember the green tint, it may be true based on the comments of the "low budget" characteristic of the film...they had to do something creative, I guess.

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Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 12, 2011 3:14pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'Stella Maris'

You have been elected. :)

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Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 12, 2011 1:54pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: 'Stella Maris'

Additional

The well-known film distribution company Criterion stated the following...

"Each film is presented uncut, in its original aspect ratio, as its maker intended it to be seen. Every time we start work on a film, we track down the best available film elements in the world, use state-of-the-art telecine equipment and a select few colorists capable of meeting our rigorous standards, then take time during the film-to-video digital transfer to create the most pristine possible image and sound. Whenever possible, we work with directors and cinematographers to ensure that the look of our releases does justice to their intentions."

That is "restoration".